“This is Bilal. Bilal bought a knife. Bilal doesn’t kill people with the knife. Bilal bought the knife for his father the cook. Bilal is not a terrorist. Bilal is smart. Be Bilal,” says a graphic in Arabic showing the stick-figure Bilal smiling with a chef’s hat on his head. (Translation from Arabic via YNetNews.com)
You have likely seen the “Be like Bill” memes going around Facebook. The IDF has come up with their own version, “Be like Bilal” in an attempt to counter Palestinian incitement propaganda. It seems unlikely to stem the Knife Intifada.
Capt. Avichai Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic-speaking spokesman, seeks to use the “Be like Bill” trend to take advantage of the cynical social criticism it offers to appeal to the 850,000 Arabic-speaking followers the unit has on Facebook.
“Those who live in a civilized world and a civilized society don’t need this sentence. But unfortunately, we see people around us who use household items for murder and terrorism,” Capt. Adraee wrote.
He urged the Palestinians to “oppose incitement, murder, and terrorism, and protect yourself.”
Of course it is hard to believe a stick figure cartoon will counter a media blitz that indoctrinates Palestinian children from childhood.
The campaign has its share of skeptics among both Israelis and Palestinians.
“The post garnered thousands of likes and hundreds of shares, but also a lot of abuse in comments from Palestinians. “This is Avichai. Avichai stole a country from its owners. Avichai kills people with many weapons. Avichai is an occupier. Don’t be like Avichai, and get out of our country,” one of the commenters wrote.